Hi everyone ~ It’s Barb here today sharing an ‘Encouragement’ card and a tutorial for DIY Enamel Dots!
I love a clean and simple card with a few small, colorful elements, and my favorite are enamel dots. But, after a while, they can become really expensive! So, when I learned that I can make them myself for a fraction of the cost, I decided to do a little research.
I read some blog posts and watched a few videos, then bought a bag of Perler Beads (1,000 beads for $2.99 – Google for the best price) and some parchment paper. Perler Beads create small enamel dots, Walmart Faceted Beads create a medium size, and Pony Beads create the largest dots.
To begin, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and placed a piece of parchment paper onto an old baking (cookie) sheet. I put the beads on with the divot (opening) facing vertically:
Here is a close up:
The beads are ‘done’ when the divot (opening) is no longer visible and the dot is smooth and shiny. I baked the beads for about 20 minutes, and VOILA!!! ~ I had my very own homemade Enamel Dots! Well, mostly ~
Here are a few tips ~ If you look closely, you will see that a few of the beads are not as smooth as others. I left the whole tray in for a few more minutes, but they never actually smoothed out all the way. I noticed that the problem was with the darker beads. So, the next time I baked them, I bumped up the temperature to 375 F (some have suggested this temperature), and baked light colored beads for 25 minutes and dark beads separately for about 30 minutes. And, that seemed to help. Here are a few more things that I learned:
– Just to be safe: Use an old baking sheet, and keep it for ‘crafty projects only’ (even though I’m using Parchment Paper, I won’t use this pan in the future for food)
– check your oven temp, so that it’s not too hot – everyone’s oven is different, and yours may run ‘hot’. It’s a good idea to check your oven with an oven thermometer, if you have one
– Bake ‘like’ colors together, as some colors may take a little longer (ie, dark colors)
– Pony beads are rather large, and if you leave them in for a shorter time, they will spread less.
– Space the beads on the baking sheet so they are not too close together
– When finished, cool for 5 minutes, and the enamel dots will slide right off the parchment paper
– A few people have noted that there was a distinct smell while baking the beads. I would bake them on a day that you can open the windows in your house to avoid any lingering odor
I have only used Perler Beads, but I want to share some of the research I did using other types of beads, in case you are interested.
Baking time and temperature for different types of beads:
Perler Beads – 375 degrees F (190 C) for 20 – 25 minutes for light beads, and 25 – 30 for dark and bright/neon beads –>>Small enamel dots
Walmart Faceted Beads – 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes –>>Medium enamel dots
Pony Beads – 425 degrees F (220 C) for 12-15 minutes –>> Large enamel dots
I hope all of my trials and tips help, if you decide to try making your own enamel dots. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a note (with your email address) in the comment section, and I will get back to you asap.
On to my card…I used Teal and Clear Perler Beads ~
A ‘Thinking of You’ card is great to have on hand, because it can be used to console someone in their time of need, or encourage someone who just needs a ‘Shot in the arm’. So, I decided to use this sentiment in the Fancy Basics stamp set as my focal point, but thought it needed a soft background to make it pop! I die cut the Triangle Background Die using masking paper and inked it lightly in some places and heavier in others with Soft Pool Ink, then embossed the sentiment with gold embossing powder for an elegant touch.I mounted the panel on to a Soft Pool card base, added a few DIY enamel dots, and that was it!
We would love to have you join us in This Month’s Challenge. Our theme is ‘Encouragement’, and all you have to do, is link up your card or project to the gallery for you chance to win a $25.00 Gift Card at the a2z Scrapbooking Store.
Thanks so much for stopping by to visit us today…I hope everyone has a great weekend ~